Sterling Brown's lawsuit against Milwaukee expected soon

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 25, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks' guard Sterling Brown intends to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city after Milwaukee police used a Taser during his arrest for a parking violation back in January.

Brown's attorney wouldn't do an interview, but told TODAY'S TMJ4 they're getting close to filing suit against the city. A well-known local civil rights attorney believes money will be involved, likely in the six-figure range.

The body camera footage of the tasing and arrest of sterling brown caught the attention of the entire nation. Next, it may be headed to federal court.

"The video is disturbing obviously," said attorney Jon Safran.

Safran is no stranger to these kinds of cases. He's been a civil rights attorney for the past 15 years.

"When I look at the video, although it is a horrific thing to see, I've had a lot worse cases, unfortunately," he said. 

Several of Safran's cases have been against the city of Milwaukee and like brown's expected case, Milwaukee police in particular.

"I think there's going to be a financial resolution one way or the other," he said.

According to Politifact Wisconsin, since 2015, the city has paid more than $20 million to settle lawsuits or claims for police misconduct. Some of which had to be borrowed.

Safran said the body camera video shows evidence of physical harm to brown. Another component is emotional harm.

"The humiliation that he's gone through," he said. "These things shouldn't occur."

Safran believes apologies from the Milwaukee Police Chief and Mayor only solidify the city's responsibility.

"We have to do better, we know we have to do better," Mayor Tom Barrett said Friday.

Barrett has been vocal about the city's tight budget. When asked if he believes a payout for Brown's case is inevitable, he responded, "I honestly don't know the answer to that question. I don't know exactly what the expectation is."

Barrett hopes a resolution comes with changes to police and community relations.

TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to the Milwaukee city attorney about this potential case. Grant Langley said he can't comment until it's officially filed.